One of the things I have missed most over the past year is entertaining in my home. I used to have friends over for awards show viewing parties, premieres of new seasons of our favorite TV shows (hello, Queer Eye), birthday parties, epic brunches, backyard BBQs and more.
Now, I have one or two friends over at most (who are in my pod) and we tend to keep things pretty casual. We've been doing a lot of takeout to support local restaurants, which means I haven't properly "hosted" since March of 2020.
With the 2021 awards show season coming up (the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations were announced last week), I have been feeling the itch to step it up a notch, even if it's just for me and a pair of friends.
Thankfully, I was just introduced to Left Coast Original, a family-owned business based in Largo, FL. They make stunning charcuterie boards in a variety of styles. I love the wine and cheese board options, which have spots for the wine bottle and the glasses built right in.
They will also make boards in the shape of your home state or with the state engraved on the board. I think these would make very unique and highly personalized housewarming gifts.
No matter which style of board you gravitate toward, it can be customized with an engraving. The boards are made from architectural bamboo and the engraving is burned deep into the wood. They finish each piece with a homemade board butter, which is a mix of mineral oil and beeswax.
When the team at Left Coast Original asked if I would like to try a board myself, I said, "Hell yes!" This felt like a way to instantly elevate my next girls night.
I chose a board with with two handles, four holes for drinks, and five sections for snacks. I asked for it be engraved with a toast, so it says "Cheers!"
Seriously, how cute and fun is this?
Once I had my board unpacked, step one was to pick my glassware. Back in 2014, a friend made me these glitter stem wine glasses for my birthday and I knew they would be the ideal compliment to the simplicity of the board design.
The wine glasses fit perfectly into the four holes in the center of the board.
I also grabbed a bottle of my favorite Sangiovese, which you can get for $16.99 per bottle on Wine Insiders.
While most people serve cheese, meats and olives, I prefer to serve dessert! Especially if we're gathering to watch a movie.
In the front section, I placed mini strawberry pop-tarts. I didn't even know these existed until I stumbled upon them the other day in CVS.
In the center, Lindor truffles and a small bowl of raw almonds. I bought these mini dishes (a set of four) at Fish's Eddy in New York City, but my favorite local gift shop, Greentail Table, sells a similar set of six for $20 dollars.
On the far end, a tower of gummi bears, which are my all-time favorite movie theater candy.
No sweets-themed grazing tray is complete without chocolate covered pretzels, which go especially well with red wine.
These are dark chocolate covered Flipz.
Since it's Girl Scout cookie season, I also added a few Samoas. You know that is the best box! Don't @ me, Thin Mint people.
The finishing touch was adding a few festive napkins so guests could easily grab goodies and keep them in their laps. First, I added a set that says "Cheers" to match the engraving on the board.
Then I also wanted to see how it would look with my custom napkins.
In 2018, my cousin had these made for my birthday. They are the letterpress napkins from Mark & Graham.
I am truly giddy about my new serving board. It feels like the possibilities are endless for what to food and drink to offer and how to decorate alongside it.
I was already thinking about placing champagne flutes in the center for mimosas or pint glasses for a Bloody Mary bar. Though I went sweet this time around, I know I could make an epic savory spread too.
Since I plan to use the board often, I was relieved to discover Left Coast Original included care instructions in the package.
The board should be hand washed - not soaked and not put in the dishwasher.
Honestly, I want to have people over now just so I can use this!
Tell me, what are you doing to make your at-home entertaining feel special?
*This post was created in partnership with Left Coast Original. I was gifted this serving board free of charge. As always, all opinions are 100 percent my own.